Something completely different-La Taverne, Brazilian and Cape Verdean in the Fifth.
Sometimes the fates smile upon you. My wife and I were planning to cook in tonight, but given the sweltering heat we decided to get out for some al fresco or ACed interior dining.
With no reservation in hand we simply wandered out into the neighbourhood (Latin Quarter, place monge) to see what we could score as walk ins. Bad idea on a Monday. No, we didn't check the web first: let's be spontaneous, said sweet wifey. L'Argume, a longshot anyway, closed. Next we tried a little tapas joint with great ice cold sangria tha we liked, Cervantes. Also closed. Lilane? Shuttered. Curse you Lundi! We stopped back at the apt to check the web. Hey, Dans Le Landes is open Lundi to Samedi! Let's go! But, no, web lies...closed.
Now wife says let's just go to franprix and get a frozen pizza or can of cassoulet. As we are walking back, however, I ask my wife of we can quickly check of the theatre on Daubenton is playing the new Woody Allen movie. It wasn't, but that little detour put ya right across the street from a rustic looking little restaurant with a cheerful green and yellow awning called La Taverne, that promised us delights of Brasil et Cap Vert. I know noting about Cape Verde, and my Brazilian cuisine knowledge is limited to the all you can eat meat on skewers dining popular in the US, but we decided to give it a whirl, a the small irregular outdoor terrace looked lively an fun.
Started with an apero of two of the house made punches, a classique and cape vert. Be warned, these are strong and served room temp. They tastes great, but on a hot day I would request ice, which I understand they will accommodate.
We took the formule of entree and plat for 18eur each. My wife opted for the risois au crevette..basically shrimp empanadas, while I ordered the simply names boudin, with no clue what that actually would be. The risois were fabulous, crispy, hot, little pockets of shrimpy yum. Great street food style cuisine, especially with the little pot of thermonuclear habanero sauce they provide. I still dot know what the boudin actually was, but it tasted great, with hints of cinnamon and cocoa...my wife nailed it when she said it tastes something like Mexican mole.
Mains were the fish with a sauce of cream and cocoa for my wife, an fejoada for me. The fish was fabulous, a really praiseworthy sauce. The fejoada was full of tender meat and a good rich brown sauce, but was strangely lacking in beans. Both mains come with generous portions of rice and mixed veggies, and are huge. I'd recommend splitting one app with two plats for two, unless you are a big eater. Funny though, we did clean our plates and used ever drop of habanero sauce. The cheerful hostess teased me more than once about my affection for this concoction, once making a gesture to suggest my face would explode I kept eating it, then later asking why I was sweating so much.
Bill with a demi of vinho verde game to 57 EUR, which strikes me as a pretty good deal, though there is probably cheaper Latin American to be found. The atmosphere, food, homemade booze, and energetic clientele made for a great experience. Hurrah for serendipity. I know most folks don't travel across the Atlantic to the Old World for New World cuisine, but for Paris residents or people on extended stays (like us) a bit weary of French classics, it's a good choice.
Btw, I hear there is another Brazilian place nearby...anyone known of it?